I don't doubt this is a revolutionary device. I like using it for many things, but when I watch Lila play games -- I shake my head and hate it!
There's just something about playing a game on this crazy thing that makes my normally pleasant child aggressive. Lila doesn't listen when she's playing. She ignores, probably doesn't even hear, what we say to her. If you try to take it from her, she becomes petulant and angry.
I've seen it happen to Noah, too, especially when he and Lila play Plants vs Zombies together. Lila grabs his hand in this pincer like grasp she has. It's not particularly painful, but she is surprisingly strong and quick. It's definitely aggravating. So Noah is aggravated. Then Lila gets upset. Then there might even be some grabbing and pushing.
Or they both poke at the screen trying to play together and end up poking each other. Worse, they block each other and miss a point or a sun or whatever it is. Then they both get frustrated. Then I get frustrated.
Is it really so wrong for me to take it away from them? Tell them that if they can't play nicely with the iPad, they're going to lose it until tomorrow?
But I don't blame them.
I've felt the same intensity with Angry Birds. When someone distracts me, and I accidentally set off a bird before I'm ready. Then it flies off in some random direction, and I don't crush a single pig. I get mad. It makes me want to pincer grip people and maybe even push them away.
Clearly I'm not the first to see this. A recent article on NPR calls angry birds addictive. So I researched it and found this study that suggests certain tones raise our serotonin levels. Could the bips and beeps and squawks from iPad games invoke that little rush of pleasure in addition to the reward of seeing the pigs' clever and maze-like defenses dropped?
When we're then removed from our tonal reward, do we then become aggressive?
What I do know is that anyone in our house -- metaphorically speaking, since we don't actually have a house -- must stop playing when they become rude during a game. If you don't stop on your own, it will be taken from you.
Yes, I mean it. Please don't test me.
What else I don't like?
It's all been said before, so I'll keep it short. The keyboard. I find it cumbersome to use. So I don't. Ever. At all. I figure, though, this is simply a technology limit that will change soon enough. It's annoying, also, that iPad doesn't support Flash.
What I do like?
I use it primarily for reading. Suddenly I can read magazines and books. That's a lovely new thing in the five years since we left NY. The games themselves force you to think logically and spatially. Apps tend to be either free or you can buy them for less than $2 each. We've recently started using one to help Lila keep track of her chores.
I'm a huge fan of Flipboard. During my recent visit to NY, I chatted with Benjamin Wagner, old friend and SVP of MTVi, who loves the interactivity of Flipboard. Where else can you so seamlessly integrate social media platforms, Google Reader and RSS feeds while also staying in touch with what your friends are reading and doing?
Just In Time for iPad 2
I've managed to squeak my little review in just before the iPad 2 comes out March 11, 2011. The new one has a camera and video camera. Lighter. Thinner. Has a cover attached magnetically to protect the display so you don't need a separate case. The screen, apparently is sensitive to strength of touch.
All sounds great, although I probably won't see it myself for quite a while, because we just got the old version. Add that to my list of Dislikes, by the way. Such is the nature of owning an Apple product.
But the addictive anger, aggression-pincer-thing makes me want to fling the damn thing out the window. I doubt even the newer, snazzier model will change that.
Photo by hj_west.